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Convictions tied to Ronald Watts vacated

CHICAGO – A dozen people who had collectively served 30 years in prison had their drug convictions vacated Tuesday, marking nearly 100 overturned convictions tied to a disgraced Chicago cop.

The exonerations are the most recent in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office ongoing review of the misconduct of corrupt former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who extorted residents and drug dealers at the Ida B. Wells housing project on the city’s South Side over the course of a decade.

Since she took office in 2016, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has vacated 94 convictions involving Watts.

“I think it’s important that we acknowledge the harm that has been caused, talk about what happened with these cases . . . It is the erosion of the trust in our justice system when we allow those to be wrongfully convicted based on the misdeeds of corrupt law enforcement,” Foxx said in a press conference Tuesday.

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